Walmart has tried on racks of acquisitions to become a fashion destination, but nothing fit. It resold ModCloth two years after buying it, layoffs and cost-cutting riddled Bonobos last year, and I forgot about Scoop’s relaunch until I did research for this story.
So Walmart’s shifting gears. On Wednesday, Walmart revealed it’s pivoting to resale through a partnership with thredUP, the leading clothing resale service. Walmart will relist more than 750,000 used items on its website from 2,000 brands sold on thredUP.
The motive: By partnering with thredUP, Walmart doesn’t have to create or store extra apparel inventory. Yet it’ll have newfound proximity to capital-F fashion brands like Coach, Michael Kors, and even Chanel.
The challenge: sneaking gently used lambskin purses into carts otherwise packed with frozen pizzas. Groceries made up more than half of Walmart’s e-comm biz in Q1.
Budget conscious shoppers will ignore faded pit stains if it means they get a deal—especially during an economic downturn. If Walmart can direct enough customers toward its online thrift store, it could secure a 2-for-1 deal to finally score fashion cred while unlocking higher margin sales.